Gary Johnson, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination who was (rather egregiously, I think) excluded from several early debates, declared yesterday that he is withdrawing from the Republican race and will seek the Libertarian nomination.

Gary Johnson lost a lot of potential name-recognition and popularity with those early debate exclusions. To be perfectly honest, I don’t really know that much about him or his positions myself (a failure that I plan to remedy shortly). One theory, as headlined in the article I linked to above (and which is what drew my attention to it in the first place) is that he will pull a lot of LGBT voters from Obama. While I don’t know how much of a factor that will be*, I am sure he will pull a lot of the more (small “l”) libertarian-minded people who would normally vote Republican from whoever the R’s end up nominating.

I’m not entirely certain that that would be a bad thing. While many people look at the current Republican lineup and say “I would vote for a syphilitic camel over Obama,” Tam had it right when she said “Keep ordering syphilitic camel, and they’ll just stop putting anything else on the menu, as a quick look at the current GOP field will tellingly point out.”

In fact, you should go check out the comments to that post of Tam’s that I just linked to. There are a lot of good thoughts there. Just a couple of examples:

Mikael said…
PS: You know the media really hates a candidate when they don’t even drum up a hate campaign, just exclude him completely, as if he’s not there.
6:09 PM, November 20, 2011

And one that echoes what I’ve been saying myself for a while.

Divemedic said…

I am about to say something that many of you will not like:
If Romney wins the primary, I am voting for Obama. If I have to choose between two big government liberals, I want to choose the one that this Republican congress will oppose, rather than the one they will support.

If Romney is elected, congress will fall all over themselves to support the president with the R behind his name.
7:00 PM, November 20, 2011

The only difference between what I said and what Divemedic said is that I haven’t restricted it to just Romney – a Republican controlled Congress will reflexively support any president with an R behind his name. At the very least, they will reflexively not oppose him. Whereas a Republican Congress will reflexively oppose, or at a minimum refuse to support, anything Obama tries to push through.

This holds especially true with Supreme Court nominations.

Think about that. In recent years, it’s been the Republican party that has been the most vocal about claims that the Senate should be a rubber stamp for defer to the President on SCOTUS nominations. Even when it’s a Democrat doing the nominating, they haven’t really put forward any truly strong opposition, but even token resistance is better than none, and it’s certainly better than the active support that any Republican president would most likely receive.

It is for that reason that I have been increasingly leaning towards voting for Obama in the 2012 election. Not because I support him or most of his policies in any way, shape, or form, but because I haven’t seen any significant difference between him and the most likely Republican nominees, and I want someone as President that won’t have a Congress willing to back him regardless of how good or bad his ideas are simply because of some concept of “party solidarity.”

Based on the little I know so far, Gary Johnson would be a candidate that I could vote for, rather than having to vote against someone. I don’t think I’ve ever had that, before. Hopefully, further investigation won’t change my initial assessment.


[Source: The Daily Caller article on Yahoo! News, retrieved 12/29/11]

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  1. Quote of the Day – 2012-01-04 « Curses! Foiled Again!

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